How To Get Into College Marching Band

How To Get Into College Marching Band

College marching bands recruit primarily to attract more musicians to simply audition for, or participate in, that school’s band. Larger college marching bands, band days, summer band camps, and clinics also serve as recruiting tools.

You get to see how a band works, meet the director and members and see the facilities and campus, and the band gets to introduce itself and the school to plenty of prospective new members.

How To Get Into College Marching Band

It’s simple to join the college marching band, but it might be challenging to stay in the band due of the stress and amount of effort involved. In addition, you have to balance the band with your academic obligations. So, how difficult is it to get into the marching band at your college? That only depends on how strong you are—both physically and mentally—and how well you can manage the demands of marching band and studies.

Whether or not you plan to play an instrument is another factor. However, you should join the band if you are excited to practice with the Marching Band because there are many advantages. You can perform better in the marching band if you make some preliminary preparations before joining the collegiate marching band. I’ve listed several drills you should do before joining the college marching band below.

Preparations To Take To Enter into College Marching Band

If you have participated in marching band groups since you were in school, that will be very helpful. However, if you are new to marching band and have never done so, there are a few steps you can take to get ready before joining a college marching band.


Marching bands require members to walk miles each day while carrying heavy instruments, thus they are not appropriate for those who are easily bored. Although there should be a distinction between marching and walking, you cannot march a mile while carrying heavy instruments if you are not strong enough to walk a mile. Because of this, the experts advise building muscle and practising walking, which will enable you to maintain an active lifestyle and march with strength and vitality.

Practice Fundamentals

Marching Band offers multiple places, and selecting the right instrument and putting in a lot of work is essential for anyone hoping to pursue music in college. It makes no difference what kind of instrument you play in the band—drums, cymbals, trumpets, or anything else—you have to be able to play the rhythms flawlessly and quickly switch up your rhythm patterns.

Diet & Water

You must pay closer attention to your food and increase your regular water intake once you’ve decided to join the Marching Band groups. Being in the Marching Band will need you to burn more calories than you are accustomed to, which can quickly deplete your energy. Thus, bananas must be a part of your meal. In addition, you must consume 65 ounces of water each day to be hydrated (keep in mind that soda is not water and therefore marching band members shouldn’t drink it).

Buy Essential Things

Before joining the college marching band organizations, there are a few necessary items that you may need, and these must be purchased. A water bottle, sunscreen, lip balm (DCT), hat, sunglasses, running shoes, and a few more essentials are among the items you should get. Therefore, before joining the college marching band organizations, you should obtain these necessities right away.

 Focus on Studies

Joining a college marching band requires you to manage a significant workload. Many universities don’t offer additional classes for marching band practice. Thus, being a part of a marching band can affect your grades. To finish the syllabus as much as possible, you should concentrate on your studies if you intend to join the marching band. You must make these preparations before joining the college marching bands. Before joining the marching band, you can also review this guide to gain other important information.

Step-by-Step Process To Join The College Marching Band

The college hiring procedures for Marching Bands at different colleges are truly different. Additionally, Marching Band members hold a variety of positions, thus the hiring procedure may also vary depending on the positions you choose to apply for:

Step 1

Many colleges take auditions before joining their bands, so you must attend the audition first. However, some colleges don’t take any kind of auditions & in that scenario, you have to contact the director of a college Marching band manually. Every Band has a director responsible for ensuring that things are running smoothly and progressively inside the Band.

Step 2

Now, the director will ask you some questions like- Why Do you want to join the Marching Band? What instrument do you want to play, and Do you have prior experience playing in the School Marching band or not?

After the discussion, you have to give some demos by playing the instrument that you might play in the Band later. If you don’t want to play any instrument, then you can apply for other positions like Colorguard (In this scenario, there is no need to play any type of instrument).

Step 3

When the audition closes, you will be notified by the director or group members that you are selected for any particular position. You can also change your positions later according to your convenience.

This is the complete recruiting process of the college Marching Band groups, and by following the mentioned steps, you can easily enter the College Marching Bands. Another thing you have to remember is that some colleges don’t take any auditions, so in that case, you have to contact the Band Director directly.


Depending on the school, each marching band may differ. There are likely to be big bands and minor bands. Some may provide band members scholarships, while others may not. While some would need an audition, others might take anyone who can march and play. The marching band at one school might pay for everything, but the band at another might ask you to buy an instrument or a uniform.

Some grant band course credit, while others give honoraria after the academic year. Marching band recruitment is a hit-or-miss process because of all of these variations as well as numerous more that are not listed. Once you’ve determined which school best suits your needs, prepare a highlight reel and web profile, sign up or schedule an audition, and then look for scholarship opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will marching band help me get into college?
2. Do you get paid to be in a college band?
Band members do not receive any academic units or monetary compensation since the Band itself is a voluntary student group. We do get into athletic events (such as football, basketball, volleyball, and swimming) for free, and receive other additional perks at times (i.e., dinner, per diem, etc.).
3. Who blows the whistle in a marching band?
One long whistle blow from the drum major is the signal to fall in at Parade Rest. Holding instruments at Parade Rest is unique for each section.
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